Practice Report: Dec 1

Sunday, 12.01.2013 / 4:55 PM
Jon Rosen  - LA Kings Insider

Quotes from LAKingsInsider.com

Justin Williams -

On what the team is focusing on to improve the power play output:

I think if you don’t have a good power play to start, then I found last night we kind of got away from our breakout, from our setup, just coming up the ice together. I thought we got away from that quickly, and when things look bad, we need to simplify. But power play is for scoring goals and gaining momentum, and we lost both last night.

On whether the power play is “simply an X’s and O’s thing”:

Well, the power play has a lot of facets to it. It’s not just one thing. You need to do everything right to get in. You need to stick with it. You can’t go off page. [Reporter: It’s not a matter of just moving the puck around either, is it? Bodies have to move a little bit, too, to get those little odd-man advantages, especially down low, and especially since goalies are so tough at just stopping a puck they can see, right?] I don’t think we’ve had enough down-low on our power play, in all honesty. I think we’ve had too much up-top. A lot of one-timers that have not hit the net and have not given us separate opportunities. I think with the unit that I was playing with, we needed to get more dirty.

On Darryl Sutter’s reference that the team might have been battling physical and mental fatigue:

Nah. I mean, he sees us play more than anyone. He’s sitting back watching. He feels the game out very well, and he knows what the players are feeling, and if that’s what he felt, that’s fine. But we’re never going to use that, as hockey players, as an excuse.

Willie Mitchell -

On whether the team’s reaction to last night’s game is to “throw it out”:

I think Scrivs said it best. Park it and move on, as Darryl says. Park and ride, right? He said it best. We’ve done that since he’s been here with games we’ve won, and I think you’ve got to do that with games you lose. You’re always consciously aware of what you did well and what you didn’t, but you’ve got to prepare for your next opponent, and everyone knows how much respect we have for that team. It’s a great team. Good depth, four great lines, good mix of experience, heavy, great team. That’s what I mean- we’re looking forward to St. Louis.

On whether the “park it” mentality comes naturally when you wake up the next morning:

I think it’s perspective on it all, is that we’ve been – I don’t know what it is – but I think we got points in [Reporter: 11 straight.]…but it’s tough to explain. It’s like when you’re scoring goals,you score a bunch of goals, and then all of a sudden when it dries up, it dries up. When you’re winning games, you can get on a stretch where you’re winning games, and then sometimes if you let a few things slip in, it can go the other way really quick. So I think that’s where you’ve got to be consciously aware, and I think…I don’t know, I don’t know why, but our team’s always played well playing against good teams, and we’re playing against St. Louis, so I’m not really concerned. I think we’re going to put forth our best effort. I’m not saying ‘win or lose,’ but I know we’re going to have an effort there, and we’re going to play a really good hockey game against St. Louis. It’s just always been our team – we’ve always found a way to rise to the challenge against good teams. So I think waking up today…it’s almost like the excitement of playing against a great team. You want to play in those games. We feel that’s a team where if they do what they do and we do what we do, we’re definitely going to have to play a long, hard-fought series against them to get what we want, and what we want back, right?

On how he assesses the power play’s challenges, being a “student of the game”:

That’s not my job! [laughs] We had to fix the penalty kill, and we’ve done that a little bit. Like I said, it’s the ebb and flow of the season. You talk to any player – it doesn’t matter if it’s a Kopi, a Crosby, a third, fourth line guy, it’s the ebb and flow of a season, and it’s where the puck’s going in for you, and the next thing you know it dries up, and I think the power play’s no different at times. There are times when it was cooking, and it was cooking during this last stretch at opportune times for us. It got us big goals, and then sometimes you hit a little patch where it doesn’t go as well, and then it comes back. It’s just full of Olympians for us, so I think with the personnel we have on there, it’s just a matter of time. I can only compare it to what I do…the penalty kill. We were one of the best penalty kills in the league early on, and we were on that big run, and then all of a sudden – I think it was against Calgary – we had three go against. I think sometimes if you dwell on that too much and forget about what makes you good, then sometimes it can get away from you, and then you dig yourself a hole and you stay in it a little longer. I think with our group, of course you’ve got some fundamentals you’ve got to play off, but just really kind of be confident and cocky in how good they are, right? They’re all great players, and we’ve got exceptional talents out there with the puck. It’s just a matter of time before they score.

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